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Want your business to run smoothly? Try to avoid these to do list mistakes. As a Systems Strategist, I’m all about making things easier, so that you can spend more time doing the work you love, or spend more time with your family without having your to do list always in the back of your mind.


What does a smooth running business look like?

Well – here’s a snapshot:
  • A marketing plan mapped out so that you know what content needs to be created in advance, so that it’s created, posted and distributed to ALL the places – on the day you planned
  • A steady stream of clients that feel like their getting great customer service, all the touch points are either automated or templated
  • Payment in advance – automated
  • The client work you need to do scheduled into your calendar
  • The marketing work that you need to do, to grow your business clearly identified and mapped out in your schedule/ task manager
  • Time for lunch breaks
  • Weekly tasks getting done by someone – weekly
  • And daily tasks being ticked off by someone – every day – often without you needing to tell them

A smooth running business allows you to 

  • know what’s coming up (a plan),
  • have time for you to get things done (your ideal CEO weekly schedule with tasks clearly broken down by category)
  • set boundaries around your time so that you stay focussed, productive, and don’t end up burning the midnight oil,
  • put processes in place for someone else to do what you don’t need to do!
  • create automations and workflows so that you get paid, get a new client or lead, and know they’re being taken care of
My clients are usually FLAT OUT working for their clients.  They usually end up working through their never ending to do list, and rarely get to the point where their business runs smoothly – because they’re stuck doing the doing. (That’s why they call me!)
Today I want to show you how to avoid these to do list mistakes, so that you can get your business running smoothly – and ride the consistent train! (It’s actually WAY easier than the rollercoaster!)

Avoid these To Do List Mistakes to help your business run smoothly.


MISTAKE #1 Keeping your to do’s in your head

Get your business out of your head!
I’ll keep saying this until it sticks!
If you are keeping your to do’s, ideas, notes, clients tasks, etc all in your head – or some in your head, some in your planner, then make it easier for yourself and get it out – into ONE place.
Why? Because if it’s all in your head, then you become the bottle neck. It’s all up to you – to do all the doing, and remember everything from day to day, week to week.

MISTAKE #2 Working straight through your to do list

Your to do list will never be ‘done’, but chances are the tasks on it aren’t organised either, so you’re jumping from one thing to another.
Be strategic about how you get things done, by assessing and prioritising your list, so that you can be more effective with your time.
Note: If you switch from one task to another, or are easily distracted, your brain has to work harder all the time to remember ‘where was I?’ each time you return to an unfinished task. This is often why you’re tired in the afternoon.
However, if you focus on doing marketing tasks, or client tasks all in one hit – you’re focussed on marketing or clients, for a good chunk of time, and are able to get more done. #efficiency
I know from experience that when I do this with my marketing, my message is much stronger by the end of a chunk of time, than if I do it piecemeal. This is purely because I’ve been focussed on that topic without distraction, so I often utilise it by finishing off with a Live, or noting down some Quote cards for my social media.

Want to learn how you can manage your to do’s like a CEO? Join the 5 day Challenge here  – and I’ll ease you through it xx

MISTAKE #3 Thinking of your to do list like a buffet at the restaurant

Picture this:
Your to do list is the buffet. You work your way through as many tasks as you can, with a bit of everything on your plate, and eating steadily. Sadly, your eyes were too big for your tummy, and you conk out before you’ve tried all the desserts (but you gave it a good go!). You finish the day Netflixing, feeling crappy and like you did a lot, but didn’t get to do the important plates, because you were too busy getting distracted by unimportant work.
If you switched to an A la carte menu, you get to have a taste of all the best parts, and can finish the meal feeling like you haven’t ruined your diet, and could do it again tomorrow with ease. The A la carte menu was carefully planned to give you the best, and leave you feeling like you’ve done great things.

The A la carte menu looks like this (AKA how you manage your to do’s):

  • The Menu plan – a structure for your day that enables you to have breaks in between
  • 3-4 Courses – chunks of time that are focussed, allowing you to really get the best work done on that topic.
  • Start and finish – clear boundaries for you to stop and start, so that you can prioritise and focus
  • It’s realistic – so that you can work on your priorities every day
  • Smaller meals – so that you don’t burn out
  • The best of the meals – a balance of the important work, and the work that grows your business, without the distractions
The cost of working on your to do list is that you can get caught up in admin, emails or social media and have a scattergun approach to  your day – hoping for the best!
Structuring your time and your to do’s to be more strategic, so that you actually have time set aside to make progress getting your business to run smoothly. You can have a steady stream of enquiries, and balance it with your current client work – without feeling like you’re the bottle neck of your business, or need to work #allthehours. Then you can have more energy and time to connect and engage on social media – because you’ve outsourced the rest!

Your Next Steps

Simply put – you can avoid these to do list mistakes, and set up your business to run smoothly so that you can grow, without burning out. 
Which one of these do you need to review and improve, so that you can make your business run smoothly?
  • Plan ahead and batch
  • Create your ideal weekly structure
  • Create processes for the regular tasks
  • Automate your systems, so you’re not the bottleneck

productivity tips for CEOs, manage your to do list like a CEO
If these tips sparked some inspiration, then join my five day challenge:

How to master your To Do list like a CEO.

Take a look at your To Do list with your CEO hat on, and see that this perspective is key to helping your working smarter, not just getting more of the same done.

That’s just going to leave you frazzled, and with less time to plan your next holiday, or your next launch! 😉

aerlie small business coach
Aerlie Wildy is a systems strategist & CEO Mentor.  She guides business owners to transition from doing #allthethings to being supported by their business, and having more freedom and flexibility to make a bigger impact. You can connect with me on Facebook, join my Chief Executive Entrepreneurs Facebook Group, check out my Youtube Channel or Pin with me on Pinterest.